Copenhagen is the fitting location for the ESMO 2016 Congress, being the home of one of the Society’s founders, Heine H. Hansen, who was instrumental in the evolution of ESMO into an international organisation. The city also boasts several other alumni notable for their contribution to oncology, including Niels Kaj Jerne, with his Nobel Prize-winning work on the immune system and the principles of monoclonal antibody production, and Niels Bohr, who first proposed the potential use of electron energy levels in cancer treatment.
The Congress has had a record-breaking start, with just over 20,239 registered delegates who now have the opportunity to experience around 730 presentations from >500 speakers and to get first-hand information on the latest treatments and technologies from the 75 pharmaceutical companies and publishers taking part in the exhibition.
Several of the Late-Breaking Abstract presentations at ESMO 2016 have the potential to change clinical practice. New targeted agents show exciting data in the treatment of stage 3 melanoma. We will hear about the final, 5-year efficacy data from the EORTC 18071 study in which adjuvant ipilimumab administered after complete resection was compared to placebo (Abstract LBA2_PR) and the results in the neoadjuvant setting of ipilimumab–nivolumab combination in the OpACIN trial (Abstract LBA39). Interim results from the MONALEESA-2 study of the CDK 4/6 inhibitor ribociclib plus letrozole are much anticipated, and are expected to provide a valuable insight into the potential role of this combination in patients with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer (Abstract LBA1_PR). We will also hear the results from the S-TRAC study comparing sunitinib to placebo after nephrectomy in patients with high-risk renal cell carcinoma (Abstract LBA11_PR).
As Editor-in-Chief, I recommend ESMO 2016’s Daily Reporter as a really useful source of information on the latest data presentations, along with other news and reports from the Congress.
Talks and educational sessions at ESMO 2016 will focus on accelerating the transition of novel treatments from the laboratory to the bedside, based on the discovery and better understanding of cancer genomic and immunology targets, and new predictive and prognostic biomarkers. Even recently, many experts and opinion leaders have bemoaned the shortage of trained medical oncologists with a working knowledge of laboratory terminology, creating a translational gap between physicians and their scientific colleagues. ESMO 2016 addresses this gap head-on with high-quality presentations and posters, and also dedicated sessions facilitating closer collaboration between medical oncologists and basic scientists (Young Oncologist Vesalius Talk; Sunday 9 October; 17.30 – 18.45).
ESMO has also identified and emphasised a second translational gap, namely, getting best practice and improved methodologies into all medical oncologists’ clinics. So please, look carefully at the excellent educational sessions at this meeting. At least I think they’re excellent, but I’m an academic! Let us know if you find them interesting and useful as we really value your feedback in developing the programmes for future Congresses.
ESMO 2016 offers delegates the chance to share their ideas with the global oncology community and international companies at the forefront of drug development. We are aiming to bridge the gap between the Congress and daily practice by providing a platform for high-level scientific content, with improved educational sessions and paradigm-changing Late-Breaking Abstract data. ESMO is constantly working on providing more solutions and innovations for your day-to-day clinical practice!
This article appeared in the Saturday edition of the Daily Reporter